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Northrop Grumman Business Unit Astro Aerospace Delivers Antennas to Lockheed Martin for GPS III
by Staff Writers
Carpinteria, CA (SPX) Aug 30, 2011

File image of the GPS-III bus.

Astro Aerospace, a strategic business unit of Northrop Grumman, has delivered 16 self-deploying, monopole JIB antennas for the first two next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS III) satellites being built by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

This delivery continues Astro Aerospace's support to the GPS satellite constellation, having delivered more than 1,000 JIB assemblies for the previous GPS IIF and GPS IIR spacecraft configurations.

The U.S. Air Force develops, maintains and operates the Global Positioning System, a constellation of nominally 24 satellites maintained on-orbit to provide worldwide navigational information.

GPS III satellites are currently under development by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin in Newtown, Pa. The first GPS III is scheduled to join the on-orbit constellation in 2014.

With an adaptable design configuration, JIBs can be tailored to specific applications; they are available in monopole diameters from one-half-inch to one and three-eight inches and any length up to 25 feet. Each antenna stows into a very compact four-inch by four-inch by two-and-a-half-inch canister.

"The GPS constellation is a key U.S. asset used by millions around the globe every day. The antennas we supply are designed to help Lockheed Martin and the Air Force meet affordability and mission assurance goals for the next generation of GPS satellites," said Astro Aerospace General Manager John Alvarez.

"GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability."

For more than 50 years, Astro Aerospace has pioneered the technology of space deployable structures and mechanisms, including large deployable mesh reflectors. Astro has delivered hardware for hundreds of space flight missions with a 100 percent on-orbit deployment success rate.

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